Founding Fathers: Samuel Adams & Roger Sherman

Samual Adams (1722–1803), was a Revolutionary leader and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was the cousin John Adams, the second President. Samuel Adams was known as the “Father of the American Revolution.” He labored over 20 years as a patriot and leader. He instigated the Boston Tea Party, signed the Declaration of Independence, called for the first Continental Congress and served as a member of Congress until 1781.

On November 20, 1772, in the section of The Rights of the Colonists entitled, “The Rights of the Colonist as Men,” Samuel Adams declared:

As neither reason requires nor religion permits the contrary, every man living in or out of a state of civil society has a right peaceably and quietly to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience.
“Just and true liberty, equal and impartial liberty,” in matters spiritual and temporal, is a thing that all men are clearly entitled to by the eternal and immutable laws of God and nature, as well as by the law of nations and all well-grounded municipal laws, which must have their foundation in the former.
In regards to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and, both by precept and example, inculcated on mankind, and it is now generally agreed among Christians that this spirit of toleration, in the fullest extent consistent with the being of civil society, is the chief characteristical mark of the church.

On November 20, 1772, in the section of The Rights of the Colonists entitled, “The Rights of the Colonist as Christians,” Samuel Adams declared:

The right to freedom being the gift of God Almighty, the rights of the Colonists as Christians may best be understood by reading and carefully studying the institutions of The Great Law Giver and the Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.

On October 4, 1790, Samuel Adams wrote to his cousin, John Adams, who was then the Vice-President of the United States:

Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity and universal philanthropy, and, in subordination to these great principles, the love of their country; of instructing them in the art of self-government without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short, of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.

Samuel Adams stated:

Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.
I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world.…
that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is the Prince of Peace.

Roger Sherman (1721–1793) was an American Revolutionary patriot, jurist and politician. He was distinguished as the only Founding Father to sign all four major founding documents: The Articles of Association, 1774; The Declaration of Independence, 1776; The Articles of Confederation, 1777; and The Constitution of the United States, 1787.

In February 1776, along with John Adams and George Wythe of Virginia, Roger Sherman, served on a committee responsible for creating instructions for an embassy headed for Canada. The instructions directed:

You are further to declare that we hold sacred the rights of conscience, and may promise to the whole people, solemnly in our name, the free and undisturbed exercise of their religion. And … that all civil rights and the right to hold office were to be extended to persons of any Christian denomination.

Engraved on Roger Sherman’s tomb is the Epitaph:
APRIL 19th,1721
… He ever adorned
the profession of Christianity
which he made in youth;
and, distinguished through life
for public usefulness,
died in the prospect
of a blessed immortality.


William J. Federer, Great Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced According to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001).


About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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One Response to Founding Fathers: Samuel Adams & Roger Sherman

  1. Jamel Lindsey says:

    Like the other advocates of republicanism , Franklin emphasized that the new republic could survive only if the people were virtuous. All his life he explored the role of civic and personal virtue, as expressed in Poor Richard’s aphorisms . Franklin felt that organized religion was necessary to keep men good to their fellow men, but rarely attended religious services himself.

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